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Estimating Bill Proposed in Montana

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Montana H.B. 1530 was recently proposed in pre-filed draft form. The bill outlines rules regarding estimates for collision repairs.

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Current Montana law includes the following:

"An insurance company, including its producers and adjusters, that issues or renews a policy of insurance in this state covering, in whole or in part, a motor vehicle may not: require that a claimant under the policy use a particular automobile body repair business or location for an estimate or a repair; or engage in any act or practice that intimidates, coerces or threatens a claimant or that provides an incentive or inducement for a claimant to use a particular automobile body repair business or location."

The proposed bill language, pre-filed Dec. 29, 2010, includes an additional provision:

"An insurance company, including its producers and adjusters, that issues or renews a policy of insurance in this state covering, in whole or in part, a motor vehicle may not unilaterally and arbitrarily disregard a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system that the insurer and an automobile body repair business or location have agreed to utilize in determining the cost of repair."

Recently, Darrell Amberson, AAM, an Automotive Service Association board member from Minnesota, said, “This legislation, if enacted, will improve the plight of Montana collision repairers. We had a similar legislative effort that succeeded in the Minnesota legislature. It changed estimating practices for the better.”

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More information:

Read a summary of the bill

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